What's brand architecture?
Brand architecture is the structure of brands within one organisation and their relationship to each other. If you get this right, you can ensure brand consistency, avoid customer confusion, create synergy between your different brands and, last but not least, manage and expand your brand portfolio marketing efficiently.
When's the time to think about your brand architecture?
Usually, MOQO is engaged by companies at a time when rapid growth has organically created an unstructured jumble of brands and clarity is lacking both for employees and customers. Furthermore, there are some crucial moments in the life cycle of an organisation to consider brand architecture:
Developing a new product or service: do you add it to one of the existing brands? What are the implications? Are you better off creating an entirely new brand? Is recognisability with the parent brand appropriate?
Mergers or acquisitions involve throwing several brands into one bath, which can lead to complex situations. Do we want to keep all the brands? Are we going to simplify?
Repositioning exercise: is there a need for a new brand positioning because of changing market needs or business objectives?
How can you structure your product or service offering?
There are several ways to organise your brands into a brand architecture. Casting all products, services and target groups into a matrix provides important insights that help make choices about your company's brand architecture. Your company's strategic goals, the nature of your products or services, market conditions and desired brand perception also play an important role. An overview of the various possibilities:
Branded house merkarchitectuur: Google
In a monolithic brand architecture, or a branded house, all services and/or products are brought under one umbrella brand. No or little distinction is made between different services. Well-known examples are Apple, Coca-Cola, Nike and Google.
We created clarity and opportunities for increased cross-selling for Van Hulle Bouwservice.
House of brands merkarchitectuur: Unilever
If you opt for an endorsed brand architecture, or a house of brands, you choose a brand portfolio that works independently but is supported by the overarching parent brand. Each brand has its own identity and target audience, but enjoys association with the corporate brand. One of the most obvious examples is Unilever, with brands such as Dove, Axe and Zwitsal.
Our client BekaertDeslee chooses to create its own brand for certain products, such as Camille.
Similar to endorsed brands are sub-brands. A sub-brand also has its own identity, but is more closely linked to the umbrella brand. Such is the case for Microsoft, with sub-brands such as Windows, Office and Xbox.